Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance
The Book says: Notice first, the spinning of the two wheels. The horizontal wheel, symbolized by the carnival merry-go-round, represents a concept discussed earlier; that of “being in a rut”, always ending up where one had begun. Never accomplishing anything. See how the horses speed along, their figures blurred with the flurry of motion. Poles deeply driven into their backs, these horses are controlled by the Wheel. They do not understand the workings of the Wheel and so they are mindlessly driven by it. The vertical wheel, symbolized by the Ferris wheel, symbolizes life’s “ups and downs”. No sooner do we feel on top of the world, than we are down in the depths once again. The vertical wheel also represents that feeling of vertigo and lurching of the stomach that can accompany the rapid ascents and descents. The clues to riding the Wheel are represented in the last two images. First, notice the acrobat, balancing carefully upon one hand in the center of the merry-go-round. Her body is a picture of constant and careful balance. Acrobats spend years learning their craft. They constantly stretch their bodies, maintaining flexibility, all the while performing tiny, almost imperceptible adjustments in order to maintain their balance. This is to say nothing of the intense conditioning of an acrobat’s inner state of being. In order to achieve perfect balance, one must achieve total harmony of mind, spirit and body. As with anything, the more one practices a craft, the more perfected it becomes. But it always requires serious work and the utmost application of years of skill. The final clue lies in the final image; that of the lovely face of the acrobat. Notice how it looms over the Wheels. This image symbolizes the inner spirit. The light of the Hermit turned outward, placing the Wheel and its purpose into its proper perspective. In this tiny acrobat, we see the perfect blending of inner spirit working actively with the material body. Both work in concert. Body and spirit. And by bringing his own dual nature into harmony, a Fool can begin to make his way slowly and carefully from the outer perimeter to the very center of it all. And ride the Wheel.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card is a reminder that the gods have a sense of humor and sometimes set things up so that our view of life gets turned upside down. Sometimes we need to hit the bottom before we can appreciate the view from the top. But it also suggests that there are moments when we feel so dizzy and spun around that we’re not sure what direction we’re going. We may not realize that we are spinning our wheels in place – just digging a deeper rut but not moving anywhere. I think many of us have experienced this in our lives. We think we are moving but we are really spinning in a circle. There is movement but no progress. But there is an overall divine guidance to it all. The acrobat is us – balancing carefully on one hand, trying to avoid falling over. But it’s also a reminder that we can’t do this forever. No one has perfect balance forever. We must eventually tire and lose it. No one was meant to stay on top forever. Professional athletes can only be at the top of their game for so long before their bodies can’t handle it anymore. Celebrities come and go, sometimes returning to the top only to slip back into obscurity once again. And what was once seen as the pinnacle is often overshadowed by new developments – we see this all the time with technology. What is top of the line in computers is quickly supplanted by the new “hottest thing”. It is easy to get caught up in these frenzy if we are not able to take a step back and realize that the minute we give in, something changes and we are once again kicked from the top spot. And the serene, slightly, amused woman watching over it all reminds me of Kwan Yin, Chinese goddess of compassion. I get the feeling that if we lose our balance or find the spinning is making us sick, she will catch us and gently lower us to the ground. And of course this song brings to mind that Byrds classic “Turn, Turn, Turn” based on a passage from Ecclesiastes. How true it is that “to everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season. . . and a time for every purpose under heaven”. In today’s world it is so easy to lose sight of that. But the Wheel brings us back to our center and allows us to remember not to get so caught up in the spinning and twirling that we lose sight of the purpose behind it – the genuine need for things to change and allow the cycle to continue.
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396
The Book says: Karma, fate, destiny . A new cycle of growth and self-awarenss begins. Evolution. A run of luck. The art of timing. Taking responsibility for one’s fate. Learning to go with the flow, realizing there is a reason for everything. An awareness of the laws of change, natural cycles, seasons and all circular patterns. In the reverse this card can mean a bad gamble, a temporary set back. It could denote stagnation or being stuck at a level of awareness with an inability to see things from other’s viewpoints.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card shows our connection to the natural order of life’s cycles. We may blithely play and run around in our lives with no conscious awareness of this connection, but we are connected nonetheless. And the labyrinth created by the snake is a simple path to follow, although it may get disorienting. It is not a maze, which leads us down blind paths. It is one way in and out. But in order to come back out we have to go deep within ourselves to find our answers. Karma also shows the interconnectedness between human creations (the sun dial) and nature’s (the snake). One does not need to obliterate the other. They can coexist in a peaceful, colorful pattern. In fact this card suggests that they do coexists whether we realize it or not. And our choice is to either celebrate and enjoy this collaboration, or to ignore and resist it. Personally I think the girl on the swing looks like she’s having fun going with the flow.
Mansions of the Moon Tarot
The Author says: Daily living affecting our bodies.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This image is somewhat chaotic and confusing. At first my eye didn’t know where to focus. But once my eye was able to discern the different images it became a bit easier. The card reminds me of the need to center ourselves and not lose our focus – no matter how busy and crazy life becomes. There is so much going on around this figure that it would be easy for him to lose his center, but he seems to be resisting the temptation. The message of this Wheel of Fortune seems to be that we can accept that things change and life’s cycles continue with or without our consent. We can’t stop the progression of time and change. But what we can do is not allow it to become the focus of our existence. We can ride out the cycles and maintain our equilibrium. It may not be easy but it can be accomplished. It is about centering ourselves and focusing inward, not losing ourselves in the chaos that spins around us. Something about this card reminds me of a line from the song Across the Universe by George Harrison “nothing’s gonna change my world”. If we can accept that the nature of life is change and that we will experience cycles of ups and downs, then we can achieve this state. Because while the external factors in our lives may change – where we live, our jobs, relationships, we don’t have to change who we are inside.
Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
The Book says: The Spinner shows the many-colored winds, which the Celtic peoples understood to have gifting qualities. The winds are under the aegis of the Ninefold Sisters, also called the Daughters of the Ocean or the Daughters at the Back of the North Wind. As the gifting mothers of destiny, their breath impels each of us to find our gifts and use them.
Keywords: Destiny, fate, cause and effect, new cycle, unexpected change for better, seizing opportunities, respect for larger picture, avoiding old patterns and mistakes.
Reversed: Struggling against personal bent, sequence of disruption or delay, setbacks, blaming, reaping what is sewn, failure to note signs of change, disregard of wider circumstances, repeating unhelpful patterns or mistakes.
SOUL-WISDOM: The Spinner of Growth blows seeds into their appointed dance. It is a wise person who tests the direction of the winds before acting. What patterns are unfolding in your life?
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card reminds me of a psychedelic light that cycles patterns of different colors. There is a rhythm to it, a plan. We may not see it at first but it exists. It reminds me of the first time I realized that there is a pattern to a rainbow and it connects – purple is red + blue, then blue then green which is blue + yellow and so on. It was an amazing “click” moment for me, as though someone had lifted a veil and revealed something about the Universe’s plan to me. That is what I feel when I look at this image. The tree at the center of these amazing ribbons of color symbolizes life. After all trees were not only sacred to the Celts, they help create the atmosphere humans need to live on this planet. The connection between humans and plants/trees is an amazing symbiosis. Without them we will find it difficult to exist on this planet. But at the same time the tree reminds me of the cycles Earth has already gone through. As many are correct in pointing out – human life on Earth spans only a second of the overall life of this planet. Perhaps each colored stream represents one of the ages on earth – Pleistocene, Mesozoic, Jurassic, etc. Creatures die or transform and new ones take their place. Humans are only the latest result of this process. As difficult as it is for us to imagine, whether we exist or not the Earth will continue to life. That is the message The Spinner offers me. It is a gentle wake-up call. As self-important as humans might feel, we are not necessary for life on Earth to continue. Indeed some might argue that we are a danger to Earth’s continued existence. It also reminds me of the astrological ages. I can hear the words “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”. No one seems to agree on when that will actually be, but we can see the changes even now. People are beginning to question large, organized religions. They are exploring alternative paths or looking within themselves for spiritual truths. Just like those psychedelic lights (or even the lights adorning your Yule tree) there is a pattern to the colors and the cycling. We can recognize it and try to fit the pattern or not – that is our choice. But The Spinner is here to remind us that there is a pattern, there is a method to the madness. This can be a comfort of a constraint, depending upon your perspective.
Today I had an interesting experience. I’ve been working with the Dark Goddess Tarot (and two friends) on creating an inner labyrinth journey using the Major Arcana cards. This week I’m working with Justice/Ma’at. I asked what she could tell me about myself? In response I drew the 5 of Fire/Eris. I am familiar with the story of Eris, the goddess of discord and the chaos she caused by tossing a golden apple designated as “for the most beautiful” among the goddesses at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. This act led to the Judgement of Paris and eventually the Trojan War. Eris was motivated to do this because she felt insulted at not being invited to the wedding.
Eris is blamed for stirring up strife and chaos. This stopped me in my tracks. Am I like Eris? Do I stir up strife, chaos and discord? I know I can be confrontational but I didn’t think I was that chaotic. What’s ironic is that I’ve been trying to convince myself that I wasn’t always the somewhat prickly porcupine I can become. I thought back to my childhood and thought it just might be possible that I had become this way as a defense mechanism. Perhaps I developed this protective coloring as a way of dealing with feeling like such as outsider with classmates. Unfortunately a brief conversation with my mother disabused me of this notion. Apparently my rather confrontational style expressed itself when I was quite young.
This made me wonder why I felt the need to try to justify my personality. Most times I don’t have this urge; I accept myself as what and who I am. Sometimes I become defensive – especially when I’ve heard the comment “Gee, why don’t you tell us what you really feel?” One thing I know about myself is that I probably just did exactly that. What frustrates me is that I feel as though people are subtly trying to shame me; make me embarrassed for my outspokenness. Don’t misunderstand me – I am well aware that I can sometimes come off as abrasive and opinionated. I am both of those things but I am also relatively transparent, what you see is what you get, and I don’t play games. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and try to avoid being a hypocrite. I don’t’ see myself at better than anyone else or worse for that matter. I simply am who I am. I don’t know how to be anyone else or any other way.
So what lesson has Eris offered me? She helped me realize that I’m engaged in a pointless battle. I’m fighting against my true self and it serves no purpose. She also reminds me that this is only on aspect of my personality. I am more than just an occasionally challenging, confrontational creature. I can be quite loyal, supportive, weird, and funny. I can seem like a firecracker going off in your midst – sometimes explosive and sometimes a burst of energy; sometimes enjoyable and sometimes annoying. I guess I’m like most people – a tapestry of positive and negative aspects and that’s okay.
While reading Game of Thrones the other day I realized that many of the more “heroic” characters are ultimately destroyed by their code of “honor”. Knights charge recklessly into battle regardless of whether their cause is just or if innocent lives will be destroyed. Young girls carry romanticized perceptions of good knights protecting ladies fair and good triumphing over evil. The reality is often quite different.
One of the characters, Arya Stark, sees herself as a young warrior, a wolf cub eager to fight for justice and honor. She slowly comes to realize that sometimes being a warrior wolf can be deadly and that being as unremarkable and unobtrusive as a mouse is much safer and likely to prolong one’s life. We may tell tales of heroic figures but how often do they die in pursuit of that immortality?
I once took a two day introductory workshop to Harner shamanic techniques. During the course of the workshop I learned that one of my power animals is Cougar. I found this thrilling – I can embrace and identify with cougar energy. Another power animal is Mouse I have to say that I was not as pleased with this. Mouse has always seemed weak, insignificant and unimportant. The more I thought about it the more I realized how important it would be for me to embrace Mouse energy. I remembered the tale of the mouse who pulled a thorn from a lion’s paw. I watched mice scurrying around in fields (and even rats in the NYC subway system – different energy but similar concept to the point I’m making). These tiny, “insignificant” creatures manage to survive by staying under the radar. They bravely scurry on the edges of our world and our consciousness. As long as they don’t draw attention to themselves, we ignore their existence and they continue to thrive. How often could that lesson have helped me in life?
Looking back I can find many examples of times when my aggressive Cougar nature and energy caused unnecessary problems. It created tensions and confrontations which could have been avoided. If my ego had allowed me to sit in a corner, unnoticed and unremarkable rather than shouting “look at me, look at me”, I might have found numerous situations to be less confrontational. There have been times when I’ll channel aggressive energy (I often envision myself as manifesting The Morrigan) while walking alone down dark NYC streets. I hope to project such a fearsome vibe that no one would dark mess with me. Then I realized that sometimes that kind of vibe challenges other to prove themselves more aggressive. So I decided to try projecting more Mouse energy – “I’m invisible. I can pass through crowds without being seen.” I was careful not to project fear but instead focused on being unnoticed. Regardless of which energy I projected, I say that I was never bothered.
Readings the Song of Ice and Fire series and seeing the various personas projected by the different characters made me realize that sometimes acting fierce and aggressive can attract very confrontational energy to you. Choosing to be more circumspect and unobtrusive can help avoid unwanted attention and be more peaceful. I’m not saying that one should always embody Mouse energy. There are times when being confident, aggressive and even boisterously Cougar is more sensible and natural. I’m simply suggesting that is room in this world for Mouse energy too and being able to determine which energy is appropriate to the situation can help avoid unnecessary aggravation, confrontation and stress. There is a lot of strength and bravery in living a Mouse existence. Their unobtrusiveness is their survival mechanism. In a world filled with claws and teeth and traps, the fact that Mouse survives at all is something of a miracle. This realization has helped me appreciate, honor and embrace Mouse energy. It is as powerful and necessary as Cougar energy but much easier to keep under the radar.
Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
The Book says: In this version of the Wheel we see the planets of our solar system, with inner planets separated from the outer by the band of the wheel. The inner rocky planets represent all that is internal to us – our bodies, feelings, and perceptions – and the out planets embody the spirit and what is external to us: our common ground such as religion and law. The sun in the center is symbolic of the individual will and ego. The traditional planet associated with the Wheel of Fortune is the solar system’s largest: Jupiter. In astrology it represents expansiveness and higher learning and is said to bring good fortune to the individual when favorably placed in the chart. Jupiter is shown at the top of this card ( and in its natural ninth-house position), showing that its influence over the wheel is supreme. The influence of Saturn falling at the bottom of the wheel shows us the judgments we make about value and intrinsic worth in the world. Saturn is a symbol of our limited vision of our individual role in creating a new vision of the future. When the Wheel appears in a reading, it symbolizes a change in one’s individual fortunes. This is the simplest meaning of this card. Beyond this, the card indicates a time when your concerns are with yourself and your own fortunes and future. You are in a period of selfish development when your needs are primary, and you find it easier to fulfill your own needs than to cater to others. The Wheel of Fortune indicates that you find yourself drawn to practices that help you see the out world of nature mirrored inside yourself, such as Tarot and astrology. The Wheel of Fortune indicates and opportunity for self-understanding and self-growth through the mirror of the outer world.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: When I first saw this card my first reaction was that it looked like the Big Bang in action. The Sun’s radiant glory swirling out to embrace the Universe. Looking deeper I note the twelve spokes on the wheel symbolizing the years or the zodiac signs. The planets floating in space each exert their influence in our lives. This card reminds me that there is a cosmic plan in our lives – our horoscope might be one way to explain and examine this plan. I don’t see it as something which sets our every move in stone but more as a guideline, a roadmap or our options and possibilities. I remember a psychology teacher once telling me that humans are often born with the potential for something (we were discussing illnesses and behavior patterns) but he pointed out that our environment and what experiences we are exposed to will determine whether these predispositions manifest themselves. That is how I see our astrological charts. They are guideposts, potentials and possibilities but not our only options. This Wheel of Fortune reminds me of the song Circle of Life from The Lion King. In this image Jupiter’s influence is supreme and Saturn’s is waning. But we all know that eventually Saturn will have its return. Just as we know that Mercury will eventually go retrograde. But at the same time I see the Sun at the center of this marvelous cosmos representing us – after all aren’t we always the center of our own lives. Our radiance and light shines on all those around us, and we influence them as much as we are influenced by them. This Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that we are not alone when we goes through these cycles in our lives. There are others around us who can help guide us and assist us in handling these phases. And hopefully we will be there for them in turn. Maybe the Wheel is our plans, our goals and our dreams, with the influences of the Universe flowing underneath.